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How much do struts+shocks replacement cost?

I took my 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer to Firestone and they say they can’t do the full alignment because the struts have worn. They did the toe, but can’t do the caster and camber. Okay, but what raised my eyebrows is that they said replacing struts is $1200 upwards, including labor!

  1. Does the amount sound rite?
  2. Is it better to go to dealer for original parts or will Firestone (i believe they use NAPA parts) do?
  3. If you know what range of billing i can expect, that would be great!


parts prices vary by source and labor rates vary widely by shop and geographic area.
WE can’t answer that question on a chat room.
only you can , by taking your car to other shops.
I can check parts prices online at my sources like Auto Zone , O’Reilley and Car Quest but that does not complete the puzzle.

I’d look for a good independent shop and get an estimate from them. Also, it’s not clear to me how worn shocks/struts would prevent getting an alignment, unless they are REALLY worn. Is it difficult to control your car? Does it keep bouncing after hitting a bump?

The original struts do not allow for camber adjustment, some replacement struts do.
What do they mean by “worn”?

If the struts are performing adequately I would not replace them just to get a perfect camber adjustment. The camber is off on some of my old vehicles by 1/2 a degree, it make no noticeable difference in the performance of the vehicle.

@ken green, i looked up the cost of parts, it is like $99 on ebay for all struts.
@texases, I don’t experience any bouncing, other than one, when i hit a bump/pit. My car does not keep bouncing, if that’s what i need to look out for.
@Nevada_545 : they said it needs to be replaced as it will likely cause cupping of tires.

I will probably go to a different shop and get a second opinion as @ken green suggested - will find out whether replacement is needed and how much? Will post back what i find.

A key question - how far out of adjustment is your car? There are specifications for each measurement. They can check them without having to change anything. I’m with @Nevada_545 - if camber or caster is off just a little, I’d leave them alone.

Don’t confuse Ebay prices with what you’ll pay at a shop for parts. It’ll be quite a bit higher, and it should be.

Definitely get a second opinion, as you should with all expensive work, but don’t make the mistake of comparing the parts prices you find on the internet with the cost of the job. It’s almost all labor, and a reputable shop will use good parts and warranty the entire job.

It is important, however, to get a breakdown of exactly what’s included in the cost. There are lots of additional bits like mounts, spring pads, bumper stops, and boots that should be included in the job. They’re inexpensive “rubbery bits” that make a difference and add nothing to the labor cost.

@texases: they did not give the sheet that they do when alignment is done, so i dont have the numbers. They gave a sheet of recommendation that reads:
72141 OESPECTRUM STRUT - 175.99
K80917 FRONT STRUT MOUTN - 108.99
AND UNDER ASSEMBLE BOTH SIDES: the below is X4 per row:
and the TOTAL is 1169.96

I don’t know how bad your struts are but strut camber bolts are available for most vehicles . If interested check RockAuto & maybe other parts stores .

Go here,, and enter your info. And it’ll provide an estimate of what the cost is to replace the struts for your area.


Remove strut $300
Disassemble strut is extra?
Buy a ready strut. Which is fully assembled. Most are $125
Includes new spring and new strut mount.
Have shop install this strut.

Better yet, just stay away from all National chains for repair work. Find a good independent mechanic with recommendation from older friends or the Mechanics Files on this forum. Once you have built a relationship with them you will be amazed at how much unnecessary work you were having done. There are so many redundant charges on that list from Firestone that it should be criminal.
I went into our local Firestone store a number of years ago and the manager lost all the color in his face when I walked in. It seems that I was a dead ringer for an investigator for our states Attorney General’s Office that had visited him before.

For the base 2WD version, I’d estimate $200 ea for the front stut, $125 ea for the rear strut, 2 hours labor for both front struts, and 2.4 hours labor for both rear struts.

So the totals are

Front: $400 parts + $200 labor = $600
Rear: $250 parts + $240 labor = $490

Total: $1090 (add to that the cost of an alignment), so $1200 seems to be in the ballpark.

Worn struts should not affect the alignment in any way unless they’re damaged from a collision or if the upper strut mount is trashed.

You also refer to the “Spectrum” brand of struts. That’s an obscure Chinese brand often sold on eBay and apparently Firestone is using them as a supplier now.

You can find Spectrum struts (price varies) on eBay for about 75 bucks on a Quick Strut. The struts which require disassembly to replace can be had for 70 bucks a pair, a 100 bucks for all 4 which includes both front and rear.

Bottom line is I think you can do a lot better price-wise and their pricing comes across as a bit of double dipping to me. They’ve got a separate charge for spring replacement and another for upper mounts? It’s all one and the same essentially.
It looks to me like the pricing is designed to obfuscate the issue…

I couldn’t find the complete strut assemblies on Ebay for $75. The part number the OP provided suggests that they are Monroe struts;

MONROE 72141 OESpectrum Strut, wholesale price of $79 each, as a bare strut. Parts prices can be negotiated but don’t expect struts at wholesale prices.

Cavell’s prices are attractive but he didn’t reveal his source.

What I did not mention in my prior post is that many aftermarket parts on eBay (such as Spectrum struts in this case) will also have them listed with a Monroe part number.
It’s a bit misleading as many buyers will no doubt assume that it actually is a Monroe or Monroe sanctioned product.

This is also done with no-name fuel pumps for example that will be listed as an Airtex or Walbro number. This also occurs with earlier European pumps that are no-name but have a Bosch part number associated with them.

There was some controversy not many years ago about OEM Delco parts being sold not only on eBay but at GM dealers in which the parts were not Delco at all. They were off-brand packaged as Delco. I vaguely remember GM issuing a bulletin about counterfeit spark plugs or something like that.

"Worn struts should not affect the alignment in any way unless they’re damaged from a collision or if the upper strut mount is trashed."
With great respect, I cannot agree with this statement. Struts by definition control the movement of the knuckle through its suspension travel, and normal dimensional variations between manufacturers and/or struts as small as the variation in the hole locations where they bolt to the knuckle, total length compressed (which might vary a bit based on the spring mount locations), or the way they interface with the upper mount can affect alignment. I submit that an alignment is part of a complete strut replacement job.

For setups such as my own car’s rear end, where the travel is controlled by upper and lower control arms and the “strut” is actually a coilover shock, no alignment is necessary IMHO.

@Cavell I agree, Quick Struts are the answer. Don’t get charged for something that does not need doing!

“Worn struts should not affect the alignment in any way unless they’re damaged from a collision or if the upper strut mount is trashed.”

I cannot agree with this statement either. No how…no way.

??? If the existing strut is worn, it won’t affect alignment, right? Of course, when it’s replaced the alignment will need to be done.

How would a worn strut (not the mounting) affect alignment?